Over the past two decades, organizations associated with substance abuse have shifted their approaches to alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues. These changes have been existent due to enormous volumes of research on alcohol. Scholars have laid more emphasis on research aimed at the development of evidence-based theories of drug and alcohol as well as the development of treatment programs. Some researchers feel that an understanding of the developments in each of these areas will be critical in for the provision of any substance abuse program. Notably, countries can invest in essential medical schemes to develop clinical skills for the professionals who work with AOD clients. In Victoria, Australia, the criminal justice system plays an essential role in relation to AOD by creating a multidisciplinary partnership. Similarly, justices contribute by taking a position in the community to reflect on the problems of the youth.
In Victoria Australia, justices think about AOD as a problem in the society that requires active involvement of the community, court system, and other stakeholders such as the government. According to them, victims of drug abuse have criminal characteristics that affect their treatment. One such example is typical resistance and denial issues found in other substance abuse treatment populations. Notably, these people tend to break the law too often when compared to the individuals who do not abuse drugs. In addition, justices feel that victims of AOD have a long history of psychological problems that prompt them to abuse more drugs. Some of the victims are dealing with interpersonal difficulties with family members, strained love relationships, emotional and psychological disorders. On the same note, most individuals in this category lack education and vocational skills, and struggle to find and maintain gainful employment (Brown & Kelly, 2012). Many people develop the drug abuse problem to reduce stress and cope with the present situation in life.
Furthermore, justices feel that people can deal with AOD at the community level. One of the jury in Australian criminal court claimed that each community is responsible for its young people, and must recognize that the problems of the youth reflect the challenges of the community. Before the criminal justice system plan on the ways to deal with victims of crime due to drug abuse, the society must do its part in restraining the young people. Most justices stress on the importance of appropriate schemes to deal with substance abuse. All human service systems in a community must collaborate to improve the relationship between the youth, their families and the community (Brown & Kelly, 2012). It is important for the systems to offer AOD abuse treatment services as well as sufficient physical and mental health services. At the same time, they should improve the education system and social services as a strategy to keep the young generation engaged.
When faced with criminal justice clients, justices prioritize treatment according to the criminogenic requirements of the victim. Most juries are aware that the influence of drugs triggers people to engage in various offenses. As such, the best thing is to deal with the root cause of the problem before applying a legal decision. Additionally, the jury prioritizes detoxification. It is an important procedure to ensure that offenders do not lie about the extent of their substance use. Through detoxification, physicians can identify the actual rate of substance dependence. The process can also help them to avoid mistaking withdrawal symptoms for mental illness. The justice system in Australia is aware of the consequences of withdrawal to substance abusers. In this case, it acts by recommending medical attention for the offenders before launching any case against them.
The criminal justice system in Australia fosters motivational enhancement, and includes it in any program for the substance abuse offender. Stakeholders in the system emphasize on social/coping skills training as a strategy to end drug abuse. While it is important to offer effective treatment for victims of AOD, communities should maintain collaborative relationships with criminal justice agencies such as courts, community corrections, and juvenile justice parole boards among others. The appearance of the offender affects court staffs’ behavior towards them. Most convicts portray an irritable behavior due to the effect of drugs. Some traits such as anxiety and restlessness are due to withdrawal symptoms (Brown & Kelly, 2012). The appearances make the court staffs to sympathize with the convicts.